Bernice Garnett – Education

Bernice Garnett, College of Education and Social Services at the University of Vermont

Bernice Garnett is currently involved in a five-year project researching the effects of restorative practices in schools in the Burlington School District. The goal of this project is to improve school climate by decreasing the disparities in discipline for youth of color and youth with disabilities. It is a highly collaborative project, as Bernice works with community partners including school teachers, school principals, the Director of Equity for the district, and people working for community justice centers around Burlington and South Burlington. With these collaborators, Bernice uses qualitative methods such as semi-structured interviews, focus groups, classroom observations, and document review. She also uses quantitative methods, like data analysis of existing surveys. Additionally, she is working on a secondary project focusing on food insecurity in schools, which analyzes surveys administered every two years to high school and middle school students.

Quantitative data is very powerful in terms of generalizations and trends, but I never understood the why and the meaning-making behind it. So that’s what gravitated me towards qualitative – the why – because that’s what qualitative can answer. But I appreciate them both in conversation with each other….I like the connection with people on a research topic. If you’re just looking at numbers, I’m not emotionally invested because I’m like, ‘Where are the people?'”

For more information, see Bernice’s academic profile here.